Austin Stacks Club News 03/11/14

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Austin StacksSENIOR FOOTBALL Austin Stacks 2-13; Mid Kerry 1-7

We had a blistering start to this Co. Final replay played at an overcast but mainly dry (light shower at start of play and a little rain in the closing few minutes) Fitzgerald Stadium on Sunday afternoon (2ndNov) and led by 1-3 to no score inside the first seven minutes.

Kieran Donaghy slotted over the first point after a minute following a patient build-up in which Barry Shanahan, Shane O’Callaghan and Darragh O’Brien were involved. Three minutes later Pa McCarthy was at the end of a beautiful move involving Darragh O’Brien again and Denis McElligott to fire over point number two. Then in the 5th minute a long ball into Star was eventually flashed to the net for a supper goal by the big man himself. Just over a minute later Daniel Bohan placed Shane O’Callaghan who pointed.

Mid Kerry’s first score came in the 8th minute but then in a ten minute spell (10th to 20th minute) we repeated our earlier feat, scoring a further 1-3 without replay. First two pointed frees were converted by Shane Carroll after fouls on Shane O’Callaghan and Greg Horan and then half way through the half there was real daylight put between the sides when Pa McCarthy coolly converted a penalty low into the corner of the net after Kieran was brought down in the square with goal number two on his mind.

Five minutes later Shane Carroll put over from play after good work by Bo and Star to leave us eleven points clear at that stage (2-6 to 0-1). Mid Kerry, as they did the previous Sunday, reduced our lead with two pointed frees towards the end of the half but we had the final say when Mikey Collins pointed a minute before the short whistle to leave ten between the sides at the break (2-7 to 0-3).

David Mannix was introduced for the injured Darragh O’Brien at the start of the second half and made his presence felt immediately – putting over under pressure after just 40 seconds. Mid Kerry responded with two, but Mikey Collins got his second in the 43rd minute.

A minute later Mid Kerry got their 6th of the game but when another Donaghy point was followed by two more converted frees by Shane Carroll with ten minutes still remaining and twelve points between the sides at that stage, even the most hardened pessimists among us were convinced that the Bishop Moynihan Cup was on the way back to the Street of Champions after a 20 year lapse.

In the closing minutes Mid Kerry did score 1-1 but it was fitting that the final score of the game was put over in the 61st minute by Darragh Long with everyone who had shared Darragh’s and Niamh’s sadness just two short weeks ago, rejoicing in the score.

This was an all round performance by our lads with all 21 who were on the pitch playing with the intensity and skill that everyone knows they possess. We have said it all year that we have without doubt the best defence anywhere. They proved that again on Sunday, holding the opposition to just four scores from play.

Darragh O’Brien was assured on numerous occasions under the dropping ball and made a number of point blank saves. Team captain and full back Barry Shanahan played a captain’s part – his superb block-down half way through the second half preventing a certain goal. Time after time his brother Ronan and John Dennis (great to see John back from injury) cleared their lines.

And what can be said for the half line. They were immense on Sunday – Pa, Fearghal and Denis Mac. At midfield Wayne and Greg mopped up everything and were first to most loose and breaking ball.

Very few victories are achieved without a strong bench and what a bench we had. The six subs used had all played during the season with five having started in most games and made vital contributions when introduced.

The whole squad will be receiving their first SF County Championship medals and we rejoice for one and all but it’s particularly pleasing for the veterans on the team. It was William’s 20th season playing Senior with the Club – he just missed out on that 1994 season – and he was making his 50th SF Co.

Championship appearance on Sunday, the player with the 3rd highest appearances in the Club’s history, behind two legends – Ger O’Keeffe with 59 and Ger Power with 52. Just behind William with 48 appearances is Mikey Collins and then comes Darragh Long with 44, both of whom are playing in their 16th Championship season. Next in line come the ‘young’ Star and the ‘young’ Bohan who made their Championship debuts in 2002 and 2001 respectively.

Last but not least are the brilliant team of mentors and their back room team. Stephen Stack, in just his second year in charge, left no stone unturned in his preparation for this season. Stephen, more than most, felt the pain of last year’s Co. Final defeat. His fellow selectors, Paul Lucey and John Joe Sugrue were there last year and this year he added Ciarán McCabe to the team and Ciarán’s presence has been immense.

Likewise the addition of Tommy Naughton to the coaching set-up has added to the success. Micheal has provided vital information to the squad by way of his excellent stats. And Ger Mannix and John Tobin are only seen at games by the general public but they never miss a training session and they have being doing this year after year for as far back as we can remember. And the work done by Joe Looby, Colin Griffin and Conor Horan is greatly appreciated by the Management team.

Team: Darragh O’Brien, John Dennis, Barry Shanahan (Capt), Ronan Shanahan, Pa McCarthy (1-1 – goal from penalty), Fearghal MacNamara, Denis McElligott, Wayne Guthrie, Greg Horan, Michael Collins (0-2), Shane Carroll (0-5 – 4 frees), Daniel Bohan, Darragh O’Brien, Kieran Donaghy (1-2), Shane O’Callaghan (0-1).
Subs used: David Mannix (ht) (0-1), Conor Jordan (36m), Fiachna Mangan (46m), William Kirby (51m), Darragh Long (53m) (0-1), Ciarán O’Connell (55m).

So after an incredible year, so far, we have the Championship title back in the Rock for the 12th time. It’s hard to believe that our score to day (2-13) was the highest score in the 19 finals and four drawn finals that we have contested in our 86 year history playing as a Club in the SF County Championship. When you consider the great names that have donned the Black and Amber in those 86 years it puts into context the performance of this current squad of champions.

The next highest score in a final was in the 1976 encounter when we scored 1-14. And to add to that, today’s winning margin was the second highest ever by a Rock team in a final (nine points). The highest (ten points) was achieved in that aforementioned 1976 final against Kenmare (1-14 to 0-7).

Our thanks to everyone who contributed to this victory, including all our generous sponsors and of course to the greatest band of supporters that any Club or team could hope to have.

Barry Shanahan becomes the 9th winning captain at Senior level since the legendary Joe Barrett first captained a winning team back in 1928. And the win of course ensures that Kieran Donaghy will lead Kerry in next season’s League and Championship and all Rockies will be wishing him and the Kerry panel every success in the hope that Star can emulate the past winning captains who brought Sam Maguire back to the Club – Joe Barrett, Miko Doyle (grand uncle of Star’s wife, Hillary) and Ger Power.

HURLING: Connolly Park is the venue for this Saturday’s (8th Nov) County League semi final against Kenmare. Check Club Website for more details

BINGO: continues on this and every Saturday night commencing at 8.30pm.

CLUBHOUSE: As always the Clubhouse is available for all types of Parties. Phone Ian from 7pm at 066 7126942 for bookings.

CARDS: The 45 Card Sessions continue in the Clubhouse every Monday and Thursday nights at 9.30pm.

LOTTO: Last Monday’s (27th Oct) Jackpot worth €5,000 was not won. The numbers drawn were 12, 13, 18, 24.
The €20 Prizes went to Gene O’Donnell, c/o Club Rockies; Mick Laide, c/o The Club; Margaret Foley and Caitriona Chester, both c/o Carmel O’Neill; and Frances Quirke, c/o Charlie Healy.

SYMPATHY: Sincere sympathy is offered to the families of the following who died during the past week – Margaret (Babe) Scannell, St. Brendans, Oakpark Road; Jenny Hill, St. John’s Park and late of Ballynahoulourt and Benner’s Hotel; Maureen Lehane (nee Power), St. John’s Parl and late of Ballymullen; and Sister Nuala O’Leary, Presentation Convent and late of Rathmore.

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